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Microsoft shareholder pushes company to address sexual harassment after Bill Gates misconduct allegations   25%

An activist investor is urging Microsoft to do more to combat sexual harassment following misconduct allegations against its founder Bill Gates.

How a heat dome is pushing extreme temperatures to new heights in the West   70%

The heat dome, linked to the onslaught of record temperatures, is striking for its incredible strength, geographic scope and persistence.

VIDEO shows car bomb tearing through Colombian military base, leaving at least 36 injured   -5%

Two large explosions rocked a military base and left dozens wounded in the Colombian city of Cucuta, the defense minister confirmed, calling the car bombing a “vile” act of terrorism.
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Weddings Took a Big Hit in 2020. Enter the Micro-Wedding.  

As nuptials were canceled across the country, wedding planners have downscaled — and in some cases their new offerings will stick.

The Jerusalem Declaration: redefining antisemitism?  

In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance defined what constitutes antisemitism. A more recent definition is now stirring controversy.

Stealing Children to Steal the Land   100%

Naomi Klein speaks to the legendary Manuel family about the uncovering of a mass grave of 215 Indigenous children.

The post Stealing Children to Steal the Land appeared first on The Intercept.

Israelis are shopping like mad, but many retailers worry it wont last   -100%

The post-corornavirus consumer surge has defied the worst expectations, but what will happen when people can start shopping overseas again?

Offshore deposits: the floating tin mines of Indonesia in pictures   -35%

From the shores of Bangka island, miners head out by boat every day to crudely built wooden pontoons dotted off the coast that are equipped to dredge the seabed for lucrative deposits of tin ore

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COVID-19 pandemic shakes up rankings of worlds most livable cities   50%

The pandemic has shaken up the rankings of the world’s most livable cities, a study released on Wednesday showed, with metropolises in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand leaping ahead of those in

Going home with nothing: Dems agonize over infrastructure strategy  

The party’s factions disagree on how to proceed on spending priorities, with centrists calling for frugality and progressives wanting to go massive.

Anna Sale Helps Us to Talk About Hard Things   70%

Her new book is like a good conversation with a friend.

More Chinese provinces crack down on crypto mining, digital yuan trials: Blockheads   -5%

More Chinese provinces crackdown on crypto mining this week. Local governments in Qinghai, Yunnan, and Xingjiang issued shut down orders.

Bank outage could be an unavoidable symptom of life in the cloud   16%

Akamai has apologised for a widespread outage that saw many Australian banks disappear from the internet, though such availability blips may now be the norm.

Go all-out with this luxurious Israeli breakfast at home  

These are all the recipes you need to transport yourself to a Middle Eastern summer day on the beach.

High school boys' volleyball: Southern California Regional results and updated pairings   16%

High school baseball: City playoff results and updated pairings

Namibia: Samaria Backs Brave Warriors   20%

[Namibian] The Brave Warriors should embrace the challenge of facing tough opposition at the upcoming Cosafa Cup, head coach Bobby Samaria says.

Chesham and Amersham by-election: Who will be the next MP?   -16%

The Tories have never had a majority of less than 10,000 in the Buckinghamshire constituency.

Are You Getting Unsolicited Offers To Buy Your House?   10%

Record gains in home prices have investors trying to buy up homes. If you're getting a lot of postcards or calls with offers to buy your home, we want to hear from you.

Tom Hanks ruined my life! podcasts of the week   -19%

Meet the man trying to pick up the pieces after being brutally fired by Hanks. Plus: an extraordinary investigation into sinister goings on at the British military training camp

The second season of this bingeable podcast opens with Bridget (Carrie Coon) caught up in even more chaos since the pandemic hit. Her Tesla has been hacked and there’s a confrontation over face masks as she waits for her takeaway. One screech of the tyres later and she’s caught up in another unwanted adventure, just when she’s supposed to be lying low. Bridget is on a mission to save her friend, but she collects a few new enemies along the way. Tavi Gevinson and Lucas Hedges also star. HV

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West Brom target Barnsleys Valrien Ismal to become new manager  

  • Barnsley yet to receive formal approach for Frenchman
  • Baggies may have to trigger £2m release clause

West Bromwich Albion have made Valérien Ismaël their No 1 managerial target. Barnsley, his current employer, are yet to receive a formal approach but the Baggies could trigger a release clause in his contract thought to be worth around £2m.

A move to appoint Chris Wilder was vetoed by the Chinese owner Guochuan Lai, leading to the departure of sporting director Luke Dowling last week. A section of the West Brom board had been keen on David Wagner and the Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton, the former Albion Under-23s coach previously of interest to Sheffield United. Wagner has since taken charge of Young Boys in Switzerland.

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What are the Euro 2020 group qualification rules and how do three teams go through?   7%

The 24-team tournament is split into six groups of four meaning the rules for progression into the knockout phase aren’t as simple as normal

Go deeper and find the narrative for survival during difficult times   -30%

Reading and writing has helped one woman gain control when the pandemic and lockdowns has sometimes forced us to give it up.

Don't miss our expanded Sunday Detroit Free Press. Here's what you'll find this week  

You've asked for more and we're delivering more in the expanded Sunday print edition


The guide to an eco-friendly picnic by sunshine concept store Twiin   50%

As we embrace outdoor living, let Twiin provide everything you need for a stylish and eco-friendly season

The IVF Cases That Broke Birthright Citizenship  

Ethan and Aiden Dvash-Banks are twin brothers—born just four minutes apart on the same September day in the same hospital room in Ontario, Canada. But shortly after their birth in 2016, the U.S. State Department decided that the two boys were very different in the eyes of American law: Aiden was a U.S. citizen but Ethan, the brother with whom he’d shared a womb, was not.

The reasoning, as it were, came down to how the boys had been conceived, via technology that a half-century-old immigration law could have in no way anticipated. The boys’ fathers, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, used eggs from an anonymous donor, a gestational surrogate, and their own sperm. Aiden was genetically related to Andrew and Ethan to Elad, but each considered himself a father, in equal measure, to both boys. American officials didn’t see it that way, though: What mattered to them was that Andrew is an American citizen, which allowed him to pass his citizenship to his genetic son. But Elad is Israeli, so his genetic son was denied U.S. citizenship.

The Dvash-Bankses learned all of this just weeks before a planned move back to the United States when the boys were infants. (The couple had met in Israel and gotten married in Canada, in 2010, when gay marriage was not yet legal in the U.S.) They felt blindsided. “These are twin boys born four minutes apart,” Andrew Dvash-Banks reiterated to me on a recent phone call. “I can’t have my twins be treated differently.” But the U.S. sets policies that confer citizenship on some people but not others, which means hard lines have to be drawn somewhere. In this case, the line landed right in the middle of a new family.

In May, the State Department finally updated its policy to prevent these scenarios involving assisted reproductive technology. Children born abroad to married parents of whom only one is a U.S. citizen no longer need a biological link to the American parent specifically—as long as at least one parent in the marriage is genetically related to or gave birth to the child. “It was such a relief,” Dvash-Banks said of the policy change. “Knowing that we can finally put this to rest was just such a great feeling, and more than that, knowing that no other family needs to go through what we went through.” The Dvash-Bankses had won a lawsuit that granted U.S. citizenship to Ethan in 2019, but the State Department policy remained in place for other families until May.

No official number exists for how many children were affected by the policy change. Aaron Morris, the executive director of the LGBTQ nonprofit Immigration Equality, which helped file the Dvash-Bankses’ lawsuit, estimates that it’s in the hundreds. The number is small because it applies only in specific cases where parents used assisted reproductive technology to have children abroad. The Dvash-Bankses were already living overseas, but in other cases, prospective parents have gone abroad to countries such as Mexico and Ukraine for the express purpose of finding a gestational surrogate, as the practice is still illegal in some states and very expensive even where legal. The U.S. embassy in Mexico has even warned American parents going through surrogacy there to prepare for “long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship.”

Citizenship and parentage have long been intertwined, but that relationship historically relied on a simple definition of a parent. When a child can have up to five possible parents—a gestational surrogate, a sperm donor, an egg donor, and two intended parents—whose citizenship counts? The question has come up repeatedly in recent years precisely because making a baby, making even a single baby, can be a global enterprise.

The 1952 law that allows American parents to transmit their citizenship to children born abroad does not mention gestational parents, genetic parents, or intended parents—concepts that had not yet been disaggregated by new technology. “All of those things tended to be assumed to be a package,” says Scott Titshaw, a former immigration lawyer and a law professor at Mercer University. A person was simply a “parent.” Since then, however, sperm donation, egg donation, surrogacy, and in vitro fertilization have made it possible to conceive children with whom one or two parents have no biological link. But the State Department’s interpretation of the law—if not the actual text of the law—continued to require a genetic link between the parent who was a U.S. citizen and the child.

Titshaw wrote about the pitfalls of that interpretation in a 2010 law-review article memorably titled “Sorry, Ma’am, Your Baby Is an Alien: Outdated Immigration Rules and Assisted Reproductive Technology.” He had started hearing about such cases when practicing as an immigration lawyer. To him, the issue was linked to gay rights. Same-sex couples are more likely than heterosexual couples to use assisted reproductive technology to have children who do not have a biological link to at least one parent. Moreover, a heterosexual couple who shows up to a U.S. consulate with a baby and a birth certificate listing both of their names is simply less likely to be questioned about their baby’s origins.

Morris at Immigration Equality told me the issue came to a head after 2013, when the Supreme Court overturned the section of the Defense of Marriage Act that outlawed federal recognition of same-sex marriage. “Families who believed that they had the same rights as everyone else,” he said, “were horribly disappointed when they would go to register their kids as citizens.” After much bureaucratic negotiation, advocates persuaded the Obama administration in 2014 to slightly broaden the interpretation of the 1952 statute to include gestational parents too. An American mother who carried her baby but used a donated egg could now pass on her citizenship. But the rules still didn’t cover cases like the Dvash-Bankses’. Toward the end of the Obama administration, Morris said, advocates started talking with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Then, of course, Donald Trump was elected president, and U.S. immigration policy took a hard, restrictive turn instead.

In 2017, the Dvash-Bankses moved back to the U.S. with Aiden’s American passport and Ethan on a tourist visa, which he overstayed. Technically, baby Ethan had become an undocumented immigrant. This was an incredibly stressful time for the family, especially as Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies dominated the news. They worked with Immigration Equality to file a lawsuit in 2018.

Families in this situation are able to get their children green cards for permanent residency, but that process is also strange. Allison Blixt and Stefania Zaccari were married in the U.K. and when they returned to the U.S. in 2019, Blixt applied for a green card for their son Lucas. (Zaccari, who is Italian, had given birth to him. Blixt, who is American, gave birth to their younger son, Massi, who got an American passport easily.) Blixt couldn’t list herself as Lucas’s mother on the form—which she and Zaccari found ridiculous and insulting. “The way it was treating me was like I’m his stepparent,” Blixt told me, “and I was unwilling to tick that box.” Lucas did get his green card, but Blixt and Zaccari also ended up filing a lawsuit with the help of Immigration Equality for his citizenship.

Kelsey Allen, an immigration lawyer in Minnesota who has worked on similar cases involving surrogacy in Mexico, told me that former clients of hers, a heterosexual couple, went for the residency route for their baby last year because it felt “the safest.” She told them that although their baby’s American citizenship might be denied, they could prevail in court like the Dvash-Bankses. But that would be a lengthy process. “There wasn’t a perfect option, which is really frustrating,” she said. “The family really cared about getting the baby a Social Security number and getting her on the insurance. That was the fastest way to do it.” (A Social Security number isn’t strictly necessary for insurance, Allen clarifies, but the family was running into problems without one for their baby.)

Blixt and Zaccari’s lawsuit was pending in a New Jersey district court when the State Department announced its new interpretation of immigration law in a press release on May 18. The government’s lawyers had filed a series of extensions in the case earlier this year, which Morris said in retrospect was a sign of an impending policy change under the new Biden administration. (The State Department declined to comment on the political timing of the change.) For Blixt and Zaccari, it doesn’t quite feel real yet. They are still waiting to hold Lucas’s American passport in their hands. For now, Zaccari told me, “We don’t have anything that proves [his citizenship] except a press release from the State Department.”

They realize how lucky they are, too. The new policy still covers only children of married parents. Blixt and Zaccari got married in the U.K. in January 2015, not long after same-sex marriage became legal there. Lucas was born just three weeks later. If they had waited longer to wed—or if they had been living in a country that did not allow same-sex marriage—Lucas would still not be an American citizen, even under the new policy. The lines drawn around American citizenship have shifted slightly, but they are still hard lines.

Letters to the Editor: There is no 'recall fever' in California. Right-wing extremists are just desperate   -12%

The drives to recall the governor, the L.A. County district attorney and other officials are anything but grass-roots efforts.

The Espresso Martini Is Everywhere (Again)  

As the world rebounds, so too does a storied ’90s cocktail.

Why a wave of suicides washed over Germany after the Nazi defeat   -5%

Toward the end of World War II a suicide wave swept the areas of Germany occupied by the Red Army. Florian Huber’s new book blames the influence of Nazi anti-Bolshevik propaganda and the mass rapes by Russian soldiers

Edwin Poots' short legacy will 'help his successor'  

Legislating for the Irish language is out of the hands of the next DUP leader, but challenges remain.

Canadian mortgage debt grew by $18 billion in April, biggest monthly gain ever, StatsCan says   10%

Canadians took out almost $18 billion worth of new mortgage debt in April, the fastest monthly increase on record and enough to bring total housing debt to almost $2 trillion, according to Statistics Canada.

How comedian David Baddiel became an unlikely voice for Britains Jews  

David Baddiel has attracted widespread praise for his book ‘Jews Don’t Count’ and his online condemnations of antisemitism. But how did a ‘fundamental atheist’ best-known for his sweary stand-up end up a pillar of the community?

Covid pandemic likely exacerbated factors conducive to terrorism, UN committee report warns   5%

A report from the UN Security Council (UNSC) Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) has warned that the Covid pandemic likely increased factors that contribute to terrorism, despite not finding clear signs of increased violence.
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Sinners or trendsetters? A forgotten trio of 19th-century Jewish feminists   25%

Three women who were way ahead of their time, educated and famous for their Berlin soirees – but ignored for centuries by Jewish historians because they converted to Christianity

UCLA, USC to welcome back full-capacity football crowds for 2021 season   60%

UCLA and USC will have no crowd restrictions at the Rose Bowl and Coliseum during the 2021 college football season.

Egypts central bank keeps key interest rates unchanged  

Egypt’s central bank kept its key interest rates unchanged during its monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting on Thursday, the bank said in a statement.The committee kept the overnight lending rate at

MSNBC Employees Announce Plans to Form a Union  

Workers at the cable network say the union will represent more than 300 workers, including producers, bookers and writers.

'I was told I didnt look like somebody who'd been raped'   50%

One woman speaks to the BBC about her experience of reporting sexual assault.

A turbulent 2020 saw a rise in giving  

Adversity worldwide, caused by the pandemic, recession, and civil unrest, led more people to donate time and money.